Protect the Cool Kids of Tomorrow: Keep Weed Illegal

* make us famous

We all grew up in a world where cool kids were sometimes only considered cool because they dealt weed. The trade in cannabis among school-aged people determined who was worth knowing, worth hanging out with, worth giving money to. Marijuana dealers in high school are confident people, and why shouldn’t they be? They make good money but have no bills to pay. They get their friends high and then can afford to pay for all the french fries their friends eat afterward.

These “cool kids” could have been complete assholes, rude and boorish, but no one dared to call them out on it. Impervious in a bubble of weed smoke, they can do no wrong.

It has been this way for a century. New Orleans cool kids started turning other kids on to cannabis as early as the 1920s, when newsboys pooled their pennies to buy “muggles” cigarettes, two for a quarter, from disreputable pedlars. Orphans and so-called delinquents from the Milneburg Waifs’ Home found their way Uptown, escaping the horrid conditions at the Home with pockets full of weed. Astonishingly free in comparison to the sons and daughters of elite neighborhoods on the other side of Canal Street, these downtown wise guys toked up with little Timmy and Sally on Coliseum Square after school hours.

Parents of the day were aghast to find their children smoking weed with the riff-raff and called for a citywide crackdown. Successful in their efforts, the responsible adults of New Orleans outlawed cannabis in 1923, enshrining for generations the privilege of the marijuana-assisted cool kid.

Should the day arrive that cannabis becomes decriminalized or legalized, no longer will that kid with weed be automatically associated with “cool.” He’s gonna have to get by on his own personality. We can’t let that happen. Marijuana has been making losers into cool kids for a hundred years. Don’t let a bunch of hippie reformers make weed legit and fuck up their game.